Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in March 2016 and the two devices received huge amounts of praise for their design, powerful specs and great cameras. No smartphone is perfect though. There will always be a few specs in the rumours that never see the light of day, leaving some disappointed and wanting more.
Don't worry though, more is on its way. Here is what the rumours suggest could appear on the Galaxy S7's successor, the Galaxy S8. A larger device is expected to launch alongside it, known to leakers as the Galaxy S8 Plus. You can read all about that in our separate rumour round up.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Release date and price
- 29 March launch
- On sale from 21 or 28 April
- Said to cost around €800
Samsung has confirmed its next Galaxy Unpacked event will take place on 29 March 2017, where the S8 and S8 Plus are expected to launch.
According to Ricciolo, the devices will then go on sale in week 17, which is 24 to 28 April, for £849. VentureBeat previously said the S8 would cost €799 in Europe however and would go on sale on 21 April, the same date ET News predicted.
SamMobile says the S8 will cost around $950 (£765) and will come in black, gold and orchid grey colours. Kuo however, predicts the device will be available in seven different colours.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Design
- No flat models rumoured, with two curved instead
- No home button and minimal bezels rumoured
- Similar dimensions to S7 rumoured, despite screen size increase
Rumours claim Samsung will release two curved devices this time around rather than one flat, one edged, so we are expecting the S8 to offer a dual edge display like the S7 edge, which reports from both the Guardian and VentureBeat support, as well as a leak from PocketNow shows.
It has also been reported that the S8 will have a dedicated side-mounted button to launch Viv, the Bixby-powered personal assistant developed by Siri-founder Dag Kittlaus. The assistant has been confirmed by the company, but the dedicated button hasn't as yet, at least not officially.
VentureBeat has suggested this button will appear though, official cases have leaked with what looks like a cutout for this button, Evan Blass has tweeted what looks like a press shot also confirming the button and BGR's hands on pictures also appear to show an extra button on the side.
In other button news, Bloomberg has claimed Samsung will ditch the physical home button, suggesting the company will create an "all-screen front" for the Galaxy S8. This idea has been supported by several leaks, including a number of case rumours, renders from SamMobile and a Guardian report that talks about a bezel-less infinity display.
A VentureBeat report and image leak also supports the idea of no home button and no logo on the front, as does a Weibo leak that claims to show the S8 in the flesh, a Tweet from Ice Universe, the BGR hands on pictures and the most recent images published on PocketNow. There has also been further leaks from Weibo, republished by SamMobile showing what is claimed to be the S8 in black, again with no home button.
So if there is no front home button, where has the fingerprint sensor gone? Based on the Guardian and VentureBeat reports, the fingerprint sensor will be on the rear of the S8, while the iris scanner from the Note 7 will also be on the front.
There have also been reports of facial scanning over iris scanning however so it is not yet clear which will appear. Based on all the leaked images, there are numerous sensors on the front of the devices though expect more than just a front camera.
A report from CNET Korea also claims the fingerprint sensor will be situated on the rear, to the right of the camera lens, which is something Ice Universe confirms, the official case leak also appears to confirm and a more recent leak from SlashLeaks also indicates.
The CNET report also claimed a Samsung official said the screen will have "soft keys" within it for navigating, which the Ice Universe tweet also shows.
In terms of measurements, the Bell claimed that despite the rumoured increase in screen size, the Galaxy S8 will have similar dimensions to the S7, suggesting a good screen-to-body ratio. This has also been supported by the Guardian report and a tweet from David Ruddock, who said the aspect ratio of the new flagships mean the S8 and S8 Plus will be "no wider at all than the S7 and S7 edge. Exact match".
The CNET Korea report suggests the dimensions of the Galaxy S8 itself, which it claims is 5.7-inches, will be 131.58 x 68.05mm, though this seems very small, especially given the S7 measures 142mm tall.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Display
- Size increase rumoured for S8 to 5.7-inches or 5.8-inches
- Screen to body ratio expected to improve
- Resolution rumoured to remain the same but technology improve
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is rumoured to be coming with either a 5.7-inch screen or 5.8-inch display. Serial leaker Evan Blass is adamant the S8 will have a 5.8-inch screen and BGR, which leaked hands on images, also confirmed 5.8-inches so that's where we are placing our bet for now.
As the S8's dimensions are reported to be staying in a similar field to its predecessor, which has a 5.1-inch display, the screen-to-body ratio on the new flagship will need to improve in order for this to be possible. A Samsung Display spokesperson said the company would roll out a full screen display with a ratio of more than 90 per cent this year though and the Guardian report also claimed the S8 will offer an infinity edge-to-edge display, suggesting a screen-to-body ratio improvement is incoming.
A Bloomberg report also supports this idea, with its claim of an all-screen front. The report says the display will be wraparound and there will be a virtual home button buried into the lower section of the glass, which is something the VentureBeat report also suggests and an idea presented by SlashLeaks in more leaked images of what he claims is the S8 and S8 Plus side-by-side.
Resolution might also increase, though some reports suggest not. A 5.5-inch 4K AMOLED display offering a pixel density of 806ppi was apparently shown off by Samsung and a Phone Arena leak suggested the S8 would come in this size and resolution with the dual edge design, but both SamMobile and VentureBeat claim otherwise. Analyst Kuo predicts the S8 will have a WQHD resolution though, at 2960 x 2400, which would be a slight jump.
SamMobile and VentureBeat both say the S8 will retain a 2K Super AMOLED display however, with SamMobile claiming it will be better than the S7, and offer a noticeable improvement for virtual reality. BGR also confirmed a curved Quad HD AMOLED display for the Galaxy S8 when it leaked its hands on pictures.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera
- New 1/2.3-inch sensor with f/1.4 aperture rumoured
- 8MP front camera rumoured with iris scanner
- 12MP rear sensor with visual search feature suggested
There has been a rumour to suggest the company is working on a new 1/2.3-inch sensor that will be combined with a f/1.4 aperture. This would deliver even better low-light capabilities than the current flagships but whether it will appear on the S8 is unclear. The rumours also claim Samsung's goal is to deliver a 1/1.7-inch sensor eventually, suggesting it has no intention of stopping improvements in the camera department.
Other claims have suggested the Galaxy S8 might appear with a dual rear camera, with two different sensors - one at 12-megapixels, one at 13-megapixels. This is something we have already seen on the LG G5 and G6, Huawei P9 and P10, and Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, though image leaks of the S8 suggest this won't be the case. The same tipster claimed the front camera will be 8-megapixels, which ET News has also suggested.
Another leak from a different source claims the Galaxy S8 will have a 30-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation, coupled with a 9-megapixel front-facing snapper. There has also been another claim suggesting the S8 will have the same Duo Pixel camera of the S7 and S7 edge, which is something that the VentureBeat report also suggests.
According to VentureBeat, the rear camera will be 12-megapixels with an f/1.7 aperture and a new visual search feature, while the front camera will have an 8-megapixel sensor, also with an f/1.7 aperture, both of which have also been suggested by BGR. VentureBeat also claimed the front camera will have iris scanning capabilities as we mentioned, though facial scanning has also been reported. Iris scanning has been supported by a spec leak posted by Evan Blass for the S8 Plus, which we presume will have many of the same features as the smaller model.
ET News has also reported that the front-facing snapper of the Galaxy S8 could have auto-focus rather than fixed. It wouldn't be the first device to offer auto-focus on the front, with both the Sony Xperia M5 and the HTC Desire Eye both offering the feature, but it would be welcome.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Hardware
- Qualcomm SD835 chip rumoured with 4GB or 6GB RAM
- Retina and fingerprint scanners claimed
- 3000mAh battery expected
A faster, more powerful processor will certainly be on board the Galaxy S8, and possibly a jump in RAM. Ice Universe claims we will see 8GB of RAM, while another leak says we can expect a 3.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, supported by 6GB of RAM. A Phone Arena leak lists two processors - Exynos 8895 chip and the Snapdragon 835 - and 6GB and 8GB of RAM, suggesting there could be different versions for different regions again.
According to Kuo, the SD835 will appear in US, Japan and China with most models getting 4GB of RAM, while Europe and the rest of Asia will get the Exynos 8895, again with 4GB of RAM. He also said that Korea and China will have 6GB of RAM though.
VentureBeat supports the idea of two processors, but it claims the S8 will stick with 4GB of RAM with internal storage options starting from 64GB. It's likely Samsung will keep microSD support on board, though as claims suggest 64GB and 128GB models, it could be that the company still won't offer support for Marshmallow's Flex feature, allowing users to combine the phone's internal storage with the storage of the SD card.
A bigger battery capacity is always welcomed, but even if the capacity itself isn't increased for the S8, we'd like to see software improvements to help with power management. Some rumours claim the Galaxy S8 will have a 4200mAh battery and there is also predicted to be fingerprint and retina scanners, as well as a built-in mini projector. VentureBeat says the S8 will have a 3000mAh battery however, which is the same as what a report from News1 Korea also claims.
In other reports, SamMobile has reported there will be a USB Type-C port on board for charging and audio and it's also been claimed the 3.5mm headphone jack will be ditched, like the iPhone 7, though the latter point has been contradicted by the Guardian, VentureBeat, Ice Universe and the leaked hands on images from BGR.
That said, SamMobile leaked some Samsung-made in-ear wireless earbuds like Apple's AirPods, supporting the removal of the headphone jack. A report from Fone Arena also adds fuel to this fire, claiming the Galaxy S8 will offer dual speakers and they may be Harman branded, though the VentureBeat image leak, Weibo leak, Ice Universe images and BGR images suggests dual-speakers won't be the case and a headphone jack will be present.
Samsung acquired Harman in November 2016 so the claim of Harman branded speakers, even if not dual, is a reasonable one, especially as both LG, HTC and Apple have made moves in audio in their recent handsets so it's an obvious area for Samsung to focus on to keep in line with competition.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: Software
- Viv personal assistant confirmed for S8
- Android Nougat base software expected
- Could connect to monitor for desktop view of Android
Samsung's Galaxy S7 both feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow, overlaid with the TouchWiz software. There are some handy features with TouchWiz, but we would still like to see some more refinement for the Galaxy S8, which based on some leaked screenshots from the APK of the Samsung Switch Application, appears to be the case.
Vanilla Android was probably never going to happen and that's ok, but the best of TouchWiz on top of a close to pure Android experience would be ideal. HTC launched it's latest flagship with a refined version of Sense over Android and it works well, delivering a cleaner experience with less duplication. We're hoping to see Samsung do this for its next flagships too.
Based on the leaked screenshots, it looks like a clean and simple UI has made its way onto the new device, and the icons also match renders from Blass. As we mentioned, we can also expect to see Viv on the Galaxy S8. Details are thin on the ground as to what Viv will be able to do, other than provide answers and actions, but it has been confirmed by Samsung that it will appear on the new flagship.
Sam Mobile has said the Bixby voice assistant, powered by Viv, will feature in all native apps on the S8. In other software news, the site also claimed the S8 would have an always-visible status bar and it has also been claimed that the handsets will be able to connect to a monitor for a desktop view of Android.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: Conclusion
What will appear on the Samsung Galaxy S8? Who knows at the moment. We have a couple of weeks of waiting ahead of us but it would be interesting to see a change up in design, more improvements in camera capabilities and software refinements.
There is a good chance of a more powerful processor and more RAM, as well as the potential for a larger battery capacity too, as is normally the case with next-gen flagships.
We will be keeping a close eye on the rumours of the Samsung Galaxy S8 as and when they appear so keep checking back for updates.